ATLANTA, GA - Leaders from state and local election organizations met Saturday with representatives from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to form an intergovernmental coordinating council designed to improve communications regarding cyber threats and assist with risk mitigation.
The new Election Infrastructure Subsector Government Coordinating Council (EIS-GCC) includes members from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), the National Association of State Election Directors, the Election Center, and the International Association of Government Officials, as well as state and local election officials from the EAC’s Standards Board and Board of Advisors. A charter has been adopted to guide future operations of the EIS-GCC.
The charter requires members to make decisions through a consultative and collaborative process. The EIS-GCC will meet numerous times over the next year via conference calls and in person to establish communication protocols for threat sharing and notification, work with DHS to fine-tune resources and tools available for state and local governments, and discuss and review cyber best practices for sharing with state and local election officials.
The following Secretaries of State will represent the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) on the EIS-GCC:
Hon. Denise Merrill, CT Hon. Steve Simon, MN
Hon. Paul Pate, IA Hon. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, NM
Hon. Connie Lawson, IN Hon. Jim Condos, VT
Hon. Tom Schedler, LA Hon. Mac Warner, WV
NASS Alternates to the EIS-GCC:
Hon. Alex Padilla, CA Hon. Barbara Cegavske, NV
Hon. Wayne Williams, CO Hon. Robert Torres, PA
“The DHS designation of our election systems as critical infrastructure was a controversial move that NASS opposed last February,” said NASS President Connie Lawson, who serves as Indiana’s Secretary of State. “However, we have worked hard with DHS and the EAC to set up this coordinating council and ensure that the designation does not have a negative impact, thereby helping to increase public confidence in our elections process.”
“This council is designed to improve threat information sharing between the federal authorities and the state and local election officials,” said NASS President-elect Jim Condos of Vermont. “We had the right people in the room for candid conversations about what did and did not work in the past so we can move forward and get this right.”
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